From Students and Graduates:
Dear Students of La Salette,
Thank you for your hospitality during my visit. Even though most of the faces were new, I still felt at home because we are united in the “unity of spirit” by which we are made followers of Christ. Amidst all the horrors of the world, it is encouraging to know that there is a place which is still producing Catholic men and sending them out to do battle with the enemy of Christ. Take your formation seriously and be thankful for what you have received.
In Christ Jesus,
Fr Flanery (Class of 2008)
“The strongest men are the ones reared in the hardest schools.” This line spoken by the King of Sparta, Archidamus, describes what one needs to know about La Salette Academy. Before a soldier enters a war, he must first be trained to be able to fight. He must be aware of his enemies and their weapons. He must be prepared to defend what he stands for at all costs. Welcome to La Salette – the boot camp for life. Here, mothers send their boys to school and pick them up as men. It is a place of formation and training. It is a relentless provider of discipline demanding respect. It is a fountain of Grace and a window of opportunities. Through this Catholic institution, boys are taught to recognize the importance of their Faith and the necessity there is to defend it. They are forced to realize that there are only two paths in life, the wide and the narrow. Only one bears fruit and only one will give them sufferings and trials unlike they have ever seen before. La Salette prepares them. La Salette trains them. It teaches them how to act and react to the ways of the world. By teaching them, through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they are given the tools necessary to properly wage war against the Devil and his devices. How the student does here, shows him how he will fare out in the world against countless enemies. Here at La Salette, boys from all around the country are brought under one roof and are forced to grind through the daily routine of study and prayer. A boy here is brought together in training with other boys to be taught a special lesson. This is not just his war, this is their war. It is their battle for supremacy against the forces of the infernal king, and La Salette is readying them. Under the banner of the Queen of Heaven, La Salette will guide them through their years of transformation from a boy to a young Catholic man. By battling it through all four years, the students are prepared and ready for what is to come.
As my days left here come to an end, I took back and realize the gravity of it all. I see the trials I have overcome, the daily grind I have pushed through, and the perseverance I have maintained. I have seen students enter and I have seen students graduate. I remember myself coming in and I am about to witness my own graduation. And as I say adieu to the banner of blue and white, I thank it. For because of it I realize what is at hand. The battle of my formation is over, but the war for my soul has begun. And I am ready!
Jamey Rigi (Class of 2007)
Vir is the Latin word meaning man, from which is derived virtue in our own tongue. Thus, the true definition and etymology of the word suggests that virtue is a good, manly deed. This is the simple fact on which La Salette Boys Academy bases its whole philosophy.
As a boarding student at La Salette, I have had the grace to participate at this high school for almost two years. During this time, I have come to realize the great effort put forth and the many trials endured by our priests in their effort to form solid, Catholic men.
When I arrived at La Salette, I did not fully realize the potential of what a school like this could hold for those eager to learn. However, I soon delved into the great treasure awaiting me. Every day the students are privileged with being able to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Spiritual direction is also given by the priests to help direct the students’ actions toward greater sanctity.
Viriliter Agite! “Act Manfully,” so La Salette strives at all times to teach its students to act in such a way, that is, virtuously. Over the past three years, during which I have had the immense privilege to attend La Salette Boys Academy, I have been given an education beyond compare – in the physical, mental and spiritual realm.
Most of us are well aware that the Church is going through some rocky times. The devil is waging an all-out war against her. It is looking very grim. What Holy Mother Church needs is strong soldiers. She needs Catholic men to stand up firm and fearlessly, and to fight!
I wish you and the boys’ Academy great success and prosperity. Our world certainly needs the caliber of young men you are graduating. It seems today that behavior embracing the simplest traces of ethics, integrity and discipline are sadly missing in many of our young graduates.
What makes La Salette so unique among schools nowadays is that it teaches Reality. We learn what it really means to be a man: virtue with strong convictions to fight against sentimental modernist ideas.
Having the opportunity to live with other Catholics was priceless. To witness that we are all in the same fight has given me something that will last in the years to come.
As alumni we come back to the school to visit because we truly love the school. We do not come just to see old faces, but also to check on the school which we care so much about and to make sure that it is not softening up and that there are still boys there who love the school and are living its Catholic spirit. Boys, I want to thank you for your hospitality during our visit, but much more so I want to thank you for seeing to it that the school has remained a great school which you are doing by living its virile spirit. It seems now even better than how we have left it as graduates. Boys, remember that the school is much bigger than each of you personally and even bigger than all of you collectively. There are many who have gone before you and have passed onto you their Alma Mater and its spirit, and there are also many who will come after you. You have a grave responsibility to live up to your school’s standards. Give yourselves wholeheartedly to your formation there and be absolutely resolved to live it and love it for the rest of your life, because once you graduate from there, you are forever La Salette and will hurt the school if you do not live as the Catholic men She has tried to form in you.
From Parents and Friends:
Why do we send our boys 800 miles away from home to attend this boarding school? There is at La Salette Boys Academy that which really matters – a genuine commitment to the education and formation of the whole adolescent boy, body and soul, fashioning him into a well-adjusted, high-minded Catholic man dedicated to the cause of the Faith.
Why do I firmly believe in the Catholic education provided at La Salette Boys Academy? It is because the formation of these young men is solidly Catholic, carefully balanced according to the method of St. John Bosco, with proper proportions of spiritual, intellectual, and physical development. The results have been wonderful.
Many of my associates have asked us why we would send our son off to a small Catholic school thousands of miles away from home. Briefly put, we had the confidence that La Salette Boys Academy would help our son develop the strength of character necessary to be a Catholic leader in our time.
Raising sons to become honorable Catholic men is an almost insurmountable task. Heroes are needed to lead the fight to restore the Kingship of Christ. As a mother, it is difficult to show my son how to be such a man. Thank you for forming my son and planting the seeds of honor, discipline, and the nobility of leading a life of manly virtue.
Catholic education offers what secular schools cannot, a unique perspective on life. Excellence with Virtue, Leadership coupled with Integrity and Wisdom as well as Knowledge. Notre Dame de La Salette Boys Academy is forming minds how to think, not only what to remember. Few schools today, even Catholic schools, instill this vision in our youth.
Little did I know I would be sending our son to a boarding school. It was the farthest thing from my mind. However, as Divine Providence would have it, one of your fellow priests talked to me and my wife about the school around the same time we were wondering what we would be doing for our son’s high school education since our options were very limited; actually, almost none. And the rest is history.
Just a quick note of thanks for a really wonderful and Catholic good time last week. It was such a pleasure for me to meet you, Fr. Fox, your staff and, of course, the boys. I returned home with such a great feeling of consolation and hope in my heart for the future. Thank you for a great “shot in the arm” and please keep up the vital work. Please give my warmest greetings to the boys and thank them for their gracious and receptive attitude while I was their guest. The whole experience will not soon be forgotten. In Christo Rege,
– Michael Matt
My husband and I are so impressed with the results we see coming from La Salette Academy that we wish to send a small donation this Christmas. God bless your holy endeavors!
Congratulations and thanks for the great hospitality. We all had a very enjoyable and memorable time. La Salette Academy is beautiful and we appreciate your efforts to keep it going, and especially to keep it going in the right direction. Thanks again Father!
Thank you for the material dealing with La Salette Boys Academy. It reminds me very much of St. Ignatius Loyola Prep, run by the Jesuits, my school some 70 years ago. As such it has my complete endorsement and I would very much like to be kept informed of future progress.
– Wellington T. Mara (deceased) President, New York Giants Football
Father – They were excellent!! A thrill to have your boys on board!
-Rachel (Flight Attendant, Rugby team to Utah for Nationals)
However you have figured out to keep me on your mailing list when I am not a “heavy hitter” donor, I am most grateful. Your mailings with this fine young men pictured all over them are a shot in the arm! Listen, Father, I just can’t encourage you enough, that this formation that you are doing is the largest single thing that we lost in my generation! Keep up the good work, and know that even when I’m not able to write you a decent check, you are all in my prayers. Please remember, and have your boys remember, those young men whose parents who have not yet figured out what real formation is all about.
Words are not sufficient to thank you for all you do, so we ask God to bless you forever.
– La Salette Parents
When I read your letter describing the High Mass to begin the academic year at the Academy, it lifted up my heart and it was a message that we needed to hear. It is all about the abundant graces poured down as jewels from Our dear Queen of Heaven. Thanks be to God.
We just wanted to let you know how much we appreciated the Graduation Weekend at La Salette. Of course we had heard much about the Academy from our grandsons and their parents (our daughter), but to see everything first-hand was so impressive! The church and campus (including the landscaping) are beautiful! The faculty is obviously on the right track – orthodox, moral, strict, intelligent – and it shows in the students. It is so gratifying to see all of you priests wearing your cassocks instead of lay clothes. The students are remarkable academically (how about those national test scores!) and they are getting a real classical education. The memorization of the “Shrew” dialogue was incredible! You are providing a firm (hopefully unshakable) foundation for these boys to face the hedonistic secular world and be the “remnant” to make it better. We also enjoyed seeing our first rugby game. Wow! You truly are fulfilling your mission of making boys into honorable men.
– La Salette Grandparents
We extend our gratitude for the great charity you show in providing a marvelous Catholic formation for the young men attending Notre Dame de La Salette. Deo gratias for such blessings and good fruit from your labor in His Illinois vineyard! May the Christ Child bring you a grace-filled New Year and the joyous heart of Simeon.
– La Salette Parents
We appreciate all of the good Catholic examples your students have set in their rugby matches this year.
Please use the enclosure to help meet the needs of your students. Take good care of them as they are the future of our Faith.
It is very important to me that the school succeeds and grows. I’ve been praying and waiting thirty years for this. I want to tell you again how impressed I am with those boys. They are rare breed, mature beyond their years. It seems it would take a very strong boy to pack up and leave home and live at a boarding school. Thanks
Thank you so much for your regular news bulletins. It gladdens my heart to read about the successes your academy has had on the rugby field and graduation ceremonies. In this world that we live in that is so full of sin and wickedness it is truly wonderful to see that shining light of Our Lord somewhere. La Salette truly represents the Catholic Faith and the Catholic way of life as they should be lived! Keep up the good work! You and the school are in our daily prayers.